Sessions on Special ODeL Topics await NCODeL 2017 Participants Four sessions on specialty topics related to Open and Distance eLearning (ODeL) await the participants of the 5th National Conference on Open and Distance eLearning (NCODeL 2017) on 22-23 November 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria. The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) has prepared and organized special sessions to address the needs of the participants as well as the identified gaps. The thought leaders of UPOU have been lined up to share powerful topics that will help Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and technical vocational institutes (TVIs) implement open and distance learning. Former Chancellors of UPOU, Dr. Ma. Cristina Padolina, Dr. Felix Librero, and Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso, will discuss the stages of UPOU’s developments in their session “Generations of Distance Education: The UPOU Perspective.” The different models of offering academic programs in the distance elearning mode will be highlighted. Another session entitled “Towards Understanding, Conceptualizing and Measuring Openness in Education” will look at openness through a systems perspective. The educational institution is seen as the focal system interacting with its internal and external environment and its openness is largely determined by the degree of permeability of its boundaries. This session will feature Dr. Melinda Lumanta, UPOU Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Ricardo Bagarinao, Dean of the UPOU Faculty of Education, with Ms. Luisa Gelisan, Ms. Marie Karen Enrile, Ms. Jennifer Belen, Ms. Victoria Canape-Belegal and Ms. Eleanor Manipol. Dr. Jean Saludadez, UPOU Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration and expert in Organizational Communication, will share some theoretical and empirical explorations within the organizational communication frame in her session entitled “Researching ODeL: Some Theoretical Framework and Empirical Explorations.” This will attempt to understand how ODeL is accomplished organizationally and provide an explanation on why education is possible at a distance. A session on the concerns and consequences associated with open knowledge resources, open pedagogies and assessments for open education will feature Dr. Alexander Flor, UP Scientist and Dean of the UPOU Faculty of Information and Communication Studies. Entitled “Navigating Through the Dark Side of ODeL,” the purpose of this session is to flatten the learning curve among administrative and academic officials and faculty members of institutions who clearly see a future in ODeL and are in the process of wrapping their minds around it. NCODeL 2017 is organized by UPOU, in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), UPOU Foundation, Inc.(UPOUFI) and the Philippine Society for Distance Learning (PSDL) to introduce participants to the concepts, principles, and methodologies of and recent trends in open learning. This conference, held bi-annually, is part of the implementation of UPOU’s mandate to promote open and distance learning in the Philippines stipulated in RA 10650. This conference will gather about 300 administrators, teachers, scholars, practitioners and policymakers from higher education institutions based all over the Philippines. Interested participants may still register online through ncodel.upou.edu.ph, or on-site at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Manila, Philippines.